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PELOSI'S ELECTION BREAKS A CONGRESSIONAL GENDER BARRIER

The election of Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California to lead the Democratic minority in the House of Representative is another milestone for gender equality. She is the first woman to head a party caucus in either house of Congress. That's a laudable accomplishment in a body that is still 86 percent male.

Pelosi, a liberal, has said she will work to create consensus among all views while trying to rejuvenate the Democratic message. Those are noble goals that will be challenged regularly by new House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas who, if anything, is farther to the right than Pelosi is to the left.

No one said making history was easy.

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